What does undocumented status and DACA mean?
Immigrants Rising defines “undocumented” broadly to include all immigrants who reside in the United States without legal status. They include individuals who:
- Entered without Inspection (also known as “EWI”): Individuals who entered the United States without presenting themselves for inspection at an official checkpoint to obtain permission to enter the country (e.g. crossing the border without inspection).
- Entered with Legal Status but Overstayed: Individuals who entered the United States with legal status (e.g. student visa) and then remained in the country after their ‘duration of status’ date (found on their I-94) or after their visa expired.
- Have or Previously Had Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Individuals who have been granted temporary reprieve from deportation through the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Additionally, individuals who had DACA in the past, or will be eligible to request DACA later if the program is fully reinstated.
- Are Currently in the Process of Legalizing: Individuals who are pursuing legalization (e.g. U.S. Citizen Spouse Petition or U-visa pending, etc.) but currently have no legal status.
- Vulnerable Immigrants: Individuals whose immigration status is in ‘limbo’ or puts them ‘at-risk’ for being targeted by immigration enforcement. This could occur due to many factors, such as politics (e.g. TPS program at risk of being canceled due to shift in the policy), to U-visa recipients who cannot adjust their status due to personal circumstances (e.g. lack of funds, missing a deadline).
It is also important to note that while all DACA recipients are undocumented, not all undocumented individuals are DACA recipients. Selection is contingent upon meeting criteria and the completion and federal government review of an individual's DACA application. Learn about resources for DACA for first-time applicants.
Can I enroll at UNLV if I’m undocumented or have DACA?
U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for admission to UNLV and we welcome all students who seek education and the opportunities it provides. Therefore, any individual can apply to be a student and, if accepted, enroll for classes.
Please note that a social security number (SSN) is not required to apply to UNLV. If you don’t have a social security number you can write in all zeros (0) instead of an SSN on your application. For assistance with the UNLV application, please contact the UNLV Office of Admissions.
Am I eligible for in state tuition as an undocumented student?
Undocumented and DACA students who have graduated from a Nevada high school are automatically eligible for in-state tuition.
If a student did not graduate from a Nevada high school, they must submit the Nevada Residency Application to be eligible for residency tuition rates. Please contact the Undocumented Student Program for assistance with the application.
What financial assistance is available to me as an undocumented student?
Undocumented and DACA students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but may apply for university-based and alternate financial aid at UNLV, including some scholarships through their college or department. For information on financial aid, visit the Financial Aid website and browse through the resources on the Undocumented Student Program website.
Undocumented and DACA students are encouraged to submit the Alternate Need Determination Form, which serves as an alternate form for students who are not eligible for FAFSA. DACA students may still submit the FAFSA if that is required for a specific scholarship or program, but they will not receive federal aid.
Where can I find the latest information about the status of DACA?
he University Legal Services at the UNLV Immigration Clinic offers free legal advice and representation to UNLV and CSN students, staff, and their family members. Visit them online
to schedule an intake appointment or call 702-895-2070.
Follow the UNLV Immigration Clinic and the Undocumented Student Program (USP) on Facebook & Instagram for immigration updates, scholarships, and other helpful resources.
- UNLV Immigration Clinic: @unlvimmigration
- Undocumented Student Program: @uspunlv
As an individual with DACA status and a UNLV employee, can I continue to work at UNLV if DACA ends?
If the DACA program ends, this does not necessarily mean that your employer will automatically terminate you. However, if your employment authorization expires, it is a violation of federal law for an employer to continue to employ you after your work authorization expires. Despite this, you still have rights in the workplace. For more information, please follow the link: Workers’ Rights.
Can I work on campus if I am undocumented?
If you are a DACA recipient you can work on campus under funding that is not federal. Most work-study positions require you to fill out the FAFSA and are federally funded, so DACA recipients do not qualify for those. Although, undocumented students who do not have a work permit or social security number do not qualify to work on campus, there are other opportunities that they do qualify for. Undocumented students qualify for stipends.
For more information on how undocumented students can make money visit Immigrants rising and learn about how undocumented folks in the community are creating their own opportunities.
If I experience discrimination while at UNLV, where can I get help?
Undocumented students (with and without DACA) are important members of our campus community. If you are facing discrimination, you might be feeling a range of emotions, including anger, sadness, and other feelings. The Undocumented Student Program is here to support you, help identify your rights, and provide assistance for next steps that you may want to take. Please contact us for individualized assistance. Undocumented students and staff can also visit The Office of Equal Employment and Title IX to learn more about how title IX protects students against discrimination.
As a DACA student, can I travel outside of the U.S. and/or participate in study abroad?
Students who are DACA recipients have the option of applying for Advance Parole, which allows them to leave the country and return legally for humanitarian, work, or education related matters. It is highly recommended that individuals interested in applying for Advance Parole work seek assistance from an immigration attorney, as there are risks involved in leaving the country as an undocumented person. Find a reputable immigration attorney through the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) lawyer search.
The International Programs office provides information about studying abroad and studying within the country. The National Student Exchange (NSE) is a program for exchange within the United States and Canada.
What information can the University disclose about student records, including class schedules?
A student’s education record is protected under the Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA). Any record that directly relates to a student and is maintained by the institution or a party acting on behalf of the institution is considered an education record. UNLV complies with federal and state law with respect to disclosure of a student’s education record to outside parties.
UNLV maintains "directory" information for students, including name, class level, major, email, address, and telephone numbers. Individuals and external organizations may request this information, but the university carefully reviews and considers each request, and not all requests are fulfilled. FERPA does not prohibit disclosure of directory information. Learn more about UNLV's definition of directory information.
Because U.S. citizenship is not a requirement of admission, UNLV does not track undocumented or DACA status of its students.
Can a student opt out of having their directory information disclosed?
Yes, however the student also will no longer receive official and other important correspondence from UNLV. If a student does not want UNLV to disclose any or all of their directory information without prior written consent, the student must request this through their MyUNLV account. Learn more about FERPA.
As a UNLV faculty or staff member, what should I do if law enforcement officers are in my office or classroom?
Please contact the UNLV Office of General Counsel during business hours at 702-895-5185 for immediate assistance in any situation in which a law enforcement officer requests personal or personally identifiable information or records relating to a student. If not during normal business hours, contact University Police Services at 702-895-3668.
You may ask the law enforcement officer for their name, identification number, and agency affiliation, and also for a copy of any warrant or subpoena presented. Inform the officer that you are not obstructing their process, but following standard university practice and must contact the appropriate UNLV office for assistance.
Historically, external law enforcement agencies have notified University Police Services in advance of arriving on campus to execute a warrant or subpoena.